Sweeney Todd the difference as Guildford City hang on to progress in the FA Trophy.
City visited Cirencester’s Corinium Stadium for this FA Trophy encounter. The Corinium is notorious with locals for being susceptible to strong winds blowing down the pitch. So it proved for Guildford’s visit, and in an increasingly feisty affair, both sides battled hard against each other, and the wind, to make progress in the Trophy.
It was the home side, playing with the wind, who put City under sustained pressure for much of the first period. Guildford were trying to play their football from the back before releasing their front men, but the wind was holding the ball up making it difficult for Dan Moody and the returning Jaydon Gibbs to make any progress. Antony Hall was twice forced into early action, and when James Mortimer-Jones from 35 yards, and Scott Griffin both hit the woodwork within a minute of each other, City were under the cosh. Then after just 20 minutes Griffin was shown a red card for over enthusiastically arguing with the linesman and the visitors numerical advantage took the sting out of the home attack. City then had their best spell of the first half and on 29 minutes Dan Moody broke free down the middle but his early effort went comfortably wide. Minutes later Ben Rayner hit a shot on the turn that was blocked, and then as the game got increasingly bad tempered leading up to the interval; the sides were evened up when Jack Guilford was shown a red card.
Playing with the wind after the half-time interval Guildford looked a different side. Joel Hughes soon made yards into the home penalty area but his low shot from an acute angle was saved by keeper Bath’s feet. The stalemate was soon broken as Dan Moody was brought down in the box as he shielded the ball. Up stepped Moody himself to convert from the spot and City had nosed into a 49th minute lead. Shortly afterward Joel Hughes turned smartly in the box but his effort whistled just wide. Hughes was looking rampant running at the home defence, and on 66 minutes some cool passing out of defence found its way to Joel Hughes on the half-way line. With much still to do, he cut inside past two defenders and bearing down on goal from an angle with just Bath to beat, he drove firmly into the net via the far post.
City were looking comfortable but Cirencester were given a lifeline on 77 minutes when Jamie Reid went down in the box. Up stepped Sam Collier to net and a tense finale looked on the cards. Immediately however Joel Hughes chased Simon Cooper’s pass down the right flank, and after deceiving the defence his low cross found the unmarked débutant Scott Todd who finished clinically from 15 yards. City fans could be forgiven for thinking the game was over. But there was still time for Tommy Tydeman to collect a second yellow card leaving the visitors with nine men for the closing stages. The tense finale was back on, when on 84 minutes Sam Packer glanced in a cross for Cirencester and again there was only one goal in the game. However not for the first time this season City withstood a pressured late period to claim a hard fought FA Trophy victory.
Antony Hall, Tom Penson, Ben Rayner (Junior Kaffo 83), Simon Cooper, Jamie Thoroughgood, Corey Holder, Dan Moody (Dammy Bada 90), Jack Guilford, Tommy Tydeman, Joel Hughes, Jaydon Gibbs (Scott Todd 60).
Unused substitutes: Luke Bradnick, Will Heavey.
Cautioned: Simon Cooper, Tommy Tydeman, Jaydon Gibbs
Sent off: Jack Guilford, Tommy Tydeman